By CeceK on August 10, 2012
I heard on the radio that Olympic Athletes owe $9,000 if they win a gold medal. It didn't make sense to me that you could work your whole life to win a medal and then when you finally earn said medal you have to pay for it. Is the gold medal really worth that much? The 2012 Olympic medals are 3.3 inches wide, 0.2 inches thick and weigh between 14-15 ounces. According to CBSNews.com the gold medal is just over 1% real gold, 92.5% silver and 6.16 % copper and is worth about $644. In the silver medal the gold part is replaced with more copper and is worth about $330. The bronze medal is 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin and is only worth about $4.70. Obviously, the sentimental value and what they represent far outweighs their actual monetary value. The taxes on the $5-$600 medal itself can't be all that much so where did a number like $9,000 come from?
Olympic athletes are compensated for winning medals. The United States Olympic Committee pays $25,000 for a Gold medal, $15,000 for a Silver medal and $10,000 for a Bronze. This money can be even be accepted by amateur athletes without compromising their College eligibility. And that's what they owe major taxes on. Is there nothing sacred? The government gets a cut of everything! The IOC doesn't have have to pay them to make them want to win medals but it's gotta be a nice bonus. Especially for those athletes that don't do money maker sports like Basketball or Tennis. This is their big chance to finally earn some money after years and years of sacrifice and expensive training costs.
Olympic Gold often translates into big money endorsment deals. If you are already rich like Michael Phelps or going to be rich like Gabby Douglas then you can probably afford to come up with the tax money that's owed. If not, I say don't spend it all in one place. The $25K might 16K after taxes which is kind of sad but at least you'd have the money to pay up without the IRS coming after you.